a number of/the number of.please explain! : GMAT Verbal Section
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# a number of/the number of.please explain!

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Intern
Joined: 20 Dec 2005
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16 Jan 2006, 13:28
Can anyone explain me when we should use plural and when singular?
I have read different explanations in different books...some say that we should always use plural after these phrases, for example: A/The number of people have (not has)...Somewhere else I read that: "A number of"...requires plural but "The number of" requires singular...(same problem with "percentage") Any ideas?
If you have any questions
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VP
Joined: 06 Jun 2004
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16 Jan 2006, 19:23
You are correct.

"A number" always takes plural verbs......

"The number" always takes singular verbs...
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16 Jan 2006, 19:49
'a number of' and 'a group of' are used with plural nouns, pronouns and verbs.

Ex: A number of my friends feel that they are not properly paid for the work they do.

Regards,
Brajesh
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19 Jan 2006, 10:01
many thanks!
19 Jan 2006, 10:01
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